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Green Buildings & Schools

State Job Creation Strategies for 2011

The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage. Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble. Many of those jobs will never return.

An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary. States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.

Green Economy Roundtable Law Enacted in Rhode Island

Rhode Island’s HB 7407, now Public Law No. 2010-203, creates the Green Economy Roundtable to advise and assist the Governor and General Assembly in advancing Rhode Island’s green energy economy by developing a statewide action plan.

What States Gain and Lose Under Proposed US Senate Climate Change Bill

After years of states leading the fight to promote clean energy and reverse climate change and the House passing an energy bill last year, U.S. Senate leaders have finally introduced climate change legislation, the American Power Act (APA).  The bill is lengthy and complex with compromises that many leading environmental groups object to, although other groups have more positive evaluations of the bill as a flawed, but important step forward.

Bringing Integrity Back to Science: The US National Academy of Sciences Letter on Climate Change

Amidst a surge of questions on the veracity of climate change, 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences, which since 1863 has advised the government on scientific and technological issues, have expressed their disturbance by these recent “political assaults” and have made it clear: “humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend.”

California Becomes the First State to Mandate Green Building Legislation

California unanimously approved its Green Building Standards Code dubbed “CalGreen,” making it the first state to enact a mandatory green building law.  Effective January 1, 2011, Calgreen requires that every new building reduce water consumption by 20 percent, divert 50 percent of construction waste from landfills, and install low pollutant-emitting materials and water saving plumbing fixtures.

Multi-State Agenda: Green Buildings

Implementing more robust, or strengthening, state green building standards in new construction projects and renovations can help reduce the impact buildings have on our environment. Green building or sustainable building focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource use — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building's life cycle, through better design, construction, and operation.